Thursday, October 30, 2008
Last night something happened in Philadelphia. It was more than just a win. It was more than a World Series championship. It was a giant sigh of relief. A weight was lifted off an entire fan base. After 25 years of no championships for a city, years of almosts wons, years of letdowns, last night the city rejoiced. And I was lucky enough to be around for it.
After a monsoon suspended the game, Philadelphians started to think that even God was conspiring to keep them from winning a championship. The faith in this team started to wane and doubt was creeping into the city that had been smiling just days earlier. Yes, it was really odd, people in Philadelphia were uncharacteristically happy. There was a gasp of inevitability when Rocco Baldelli hit a home run to tie the game for Tampa. And then Pat Burrell crossed the plate on a hit by Pedro Feliz to take a 4-3 lead and the team never looked back. And then, last night the city celebrated.
People rushed onto Broad Street. There was much hugging and high five-ing and general good will. Yes, there was some mayhem, some banners torn down, some lights broken, a few cars flipped, and a few fires started. But the overwhelming sense was not one of a riot scene but more of a big party. For all the videos on youtube of people acting the way you would expect Philadelphians would, there were far more people toasting the city, and just being drunk, happy fans.
I was almost disappointed in the lack of destruction. I expected a little more from the city of Angryville. But maybe this is a different city now. One that doesn't boo every time something goes a little wrong. One that doesn't feel the need to destroy all the city that finally has a championship. We'll see what happens as the afterglow fades. Since the moment Brad Lidge finished his perfect season, this city has been in emotional overload. There was laughing and crying and hugs and kisses and cheers and car tipping and fires. This was a moment that changed the lives and attitudes of every Philadelphia fan.
Why Can't Us is now YES US CAN!
Congratulations Philadelphia, it's been a long time coming.